Dell Optiplex 790 review
We’ve been regularly impressed by the practical designs of Dell’s OptiPlex range, but the new OptiPlex 790 is a novelty – it’s one of the smallest business PCs we’ve seen.
Though it may look like a toy, it’s far from flimsy. Businesslike plastic façade aside, the chassis is built from sturdy sheet metal. Its solid construction and matte finish give reassurance that the OptiPlex will withstand the knocks and scuffs of office life as well as its larger cousins.
It has a decent amount of power too. Our review sample featured a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2400S – the suffix signifying the low-power version of Intel’s 32nm chip. It still has Turbo Boost though, with one core able to reach a maximum of 3.3GHz. In our Real World Benchmarks the system achieved an overall score of 0.7, indicating plenty of power for desktop applications – though it’s some distance behind the 0.9 and above we’d expect from a full-power Core i5-2500 system.
The integrated HD Graphics 2000 chip is also more than ample for office tasks, but it won’t allow for after-hours gaming. It proved a little shaky when running 1080p clips, too, although 720p footage played flawlessly.
Still, the big advantage of this lightweight CPU is very low power consumption. Using an inline power meter we recorded our review system idling at only 15W, rising to a still frugal 51W during stress tests.
Another interesting component is the Seagate Momentus XT hard disk – a hybrid drive offering 500GB of platter-based storage, supplemented with 4GB of solid-state memory as a hard disk cache. It’s a similar idea to Intel’s Smart Response Technology (ISRT), featured in the recently released Z68 chipset. The real-world effectiveness of such caching systems isn’t always fully captured by benchmarks, but in our tests the Momentus XT achieved average large-file write and read speeds of 152.3MB/sec and 136.8MB/sec. That’s perfectly fast enough for business use, but some way behind our A-List favourite, Samsung’s all-mechanical Spinpoint F3 1TB, which managed 208MB/sec and 138MB/sec.
|Warranty||3yr collect and return 3yr NBD warranty|
|Total hard disk capacity||500GB|
|CPU family||Intel Core i5|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.50GHz|
|Processor socket||LGA 1155|
|HSF (heatsink-fan)||Dell proprietary|
|Conventional PCI slots free||0|
|Conventional PCI slots total||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||0|
|Internal SATA connectors||2|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Memory sockets free||0|
|Memory sockets total||2|
|Graphics card||Intel HD 2000|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||no|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD 2000|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Number of graphics cards||1|
|Hard disk||Seagate Momentus XT|
|Hard disk usable capacity||465GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Case format||small form-factor|
|Dimensions||65 x 233 x 236mm (WDH)|
Free drive bays
|Free front panel 5.25in bays||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||7|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|Front panel USB ports||2|
|Front panel memory card reader||no|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Recovery method||Recovery disc, recovery partition|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||15W|
|Peak power consumption||51W|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||24fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.70|
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